Details have been released of the new headquarters the International Olympic Committee plan to build in Lausanne.
Olympic Unity House, which will be built next door to the IOC’s current headquarters at Château de Vidy at a cost of CHF160 million (£107 million/$159 million/€137 million), has been created by Copenhagen-based architecture firm 3XN.
The winning design for the 18,000m² campus has an undulating façade that is meant “to evoke the energy and movement of athletes,” claimed Jan Ammundsen, senior partner at 3XN, who were chosen ahead of more than 100 other international firms.
Inside, an open staircase formed by a series of staggered wood rings enlivens the space and “symbolically echoes the unifying aspirations of the Olympic rings”.
Designed to be highly sustainable, the structure includes the use of lake water for building systems, photovoltaics for solar power, and optimised natural lighting.
It is estimated that the new headquarters will cost CHF100 million (£65 million/$99 million/€83 million) to build and a further CHF60 million (£39 million/$59 million/€49 million) to fit out.
The IOC plan to borrow up to 80 per cent of the cost and Ng Ser Miang, head of the organisation’s Finance Commission, is currently in negotiations with three banks who have all offered an interest rate of less than one per cent.
A firm completion date has yet to be announced, but details of the design have been released to coincide with this year’s centenary of the IOC making the Lausanne its permanent home.
The 2.4 hectare project is aiming to bring together all of the IOC’s 600 staff who are currently spread across five different offices in the Swiss city onto one site.
“In recognition of the symbolism of the Olympic Games and needs of the organisation, we designed the new IOC headquarters around three key elements: movement, flexibility and sustainability,” said Ammundsen.
“With its dynamic, undulating façade, the building will appear different from all angles and convey the energy of an athlete in motion.
“Its interior is designed with as few structural constraints as possible.
“This open and flexible environment will adapt to multiple work styles now and in the future.
“Our design is also intended to encourage interaction, communication and knowledge sharing among staff.”
In 2012, the IOC was forced to temporarily close its headquarters and relocate staff after a burst water pipe caused extensive flooding, leading to damage to archives.
This all led to the consideration of an alternative headquarters being raised for the first time last year.
Some buildings on the current IOC headquarters site, including a multi-function centre built only in 2005, could be demolished but the Château de Vidy will stay having being officially recognised as a historical monument since 1971.
This article has been republished with permission from the original publisher, insidethegames.